1889 johnstown flood

chandler moudry justin rogers

event description

On May 31, 1889, a neglected dam and a phenomenal storm led to a catastrophe in which 2,209 people died. Johnstown had been built into a river valley on the Appalachian Plateau. The Little Conemaugh and the Stony Creek Rivers, which ran along the peripheral of the town and merged to form the Conemaugh River at the western end, Some of these floods were caused when heavy snows melted too quickly in the spring.

ecologic impact

The living set up tents, often near to the places their former homes had been located and began what must of been perceived of as the impossible task of cleaning up and starting life again. Clara Barton and her Washington, D . C . contingent of the Red Cross built hotels for people to live in and warehouses to store the many supplies the community received (click here for more on the Red Cross in Johnstown). By July 1, stores opened on the Main Street for business. The Cambria Iron Company reopened on June 6. Five years later, an observer would have been hard pressed to imagine the destruction in the valley on May 31, 1889.The Great Johnstown (PA) Flood of 1889, the result of a record-setting rainstorm speeding the failure of an earthen dam, was the top media story of its day. The catastrophe, in which over 2,200 were killed, dominated the front pages of newspapers around the world just as the terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001 and in our generation. In fact, until 9/11, it was the single largest loss of American civilian lives in one day (the greater number of deaths of Galveston hurricane disaster of 1900 happened over several days).Hard as it is to believe today, no successful lawsuits were brought against the owners of the dam that unleashed Lake Conemaugh's destruction on the valley below. It is human nature to look for causes and place blame. However, this is probably not the most useful way to approach a tragedy on the scale of the Johnstown Flood of 1889.

restoration efforts

On May 31, 1889, a neglected dam and a phenomenal storm led to a catastrophe in which 2,209 people died. It's a story of great tragedy, On May 31, 1889, a neglected dam and a phenomenal storm led to a catastrophe in which 2,209 people died. It's a story of great tragedy, Representations of the flood in the media - These exhibits include news reports from the time and Victorian stereoptic photographs. Representations of the flood in movies and cartoons help illustrate the flood's continued hold on the public's imagination.